Nikon D3100 vs. Nikon D3200

What's the Difference?

The Nikon D3100 and Nikon D3200 are both entry-level DSLR cameras that offer excellent image quality and user-friendly features. However, there are a few key differences between the two models. The D3200 has a higher resolution sensor, with 24.2 megapixels compared to the D3100's 14.2 megapixels, resulting in sharper and more detailed images. Additionally, the D3200 has a wider ISO range, allowing for better low-light performance. On the other hand, the D3100 has a slightly faster continuous shooting speed and a longer battery life. Overall, while the D3200 offers superior image quality, the D3100 may be a better choice for those who prioritize speed and battery life.


AttributeNikon D3100Nikon D3200
Resolution14.2 MP24.2 MP
Image SensorCMOSCMOS
ISO Range100-3200 (expandable to 12800)100-6400 (expandable to 12800)
Autofocus Points1111
Video Resolution1080p1080p
LCD Screen Size3.0 inches3.0 inches
Battery Life550 shots540 shots

Further Detail


When it comes to entry-level DSLR cameras, Nikon has been a popular choice among photography enthusiasts. The Nikon D3100 and Nikon D3200 are two models that have gained significant attention in the market. Both cameras offer excellent image quality, user-friendly features, and affordability. In this article, we will compare the attributes of the Nikon D3100 and Nikon D3200 to help you make an informed decision on which camera suits your needs.

Image Quality

One of the most crucial factors to consider when purchasing a DSLR camera is image quality. Both the Nikon D3100 and Nikon D3200 feature a 14.2-megapixel CMOS sensor, which delivers impressive image resolution. However, the D3200 takes a slight advantage with its 24.2-megapixel sensor, allowing for more detailed and sharper images. If you are someone who frequently prints large-sized photos or crops images extensively, the D3200's higher resolution might be more appealing to you.

ISO Performance

ISO performance is another critical aspect to consider, especially for low-light photography. The Nikon D3200 offers a wider ISO range compared to the D3100. While the D3100 has a native ISO range of 100-3200, expandable up to 12800, the D3200 provides a native ISO range of 100-6400, expandable up to 12800 as well. This means that the D3200 can capture images with less noise in low-light conditions, making it a better choice for night photography or indoor shooting without a flash.

Autofocus System

When it comes to autofocus capabilities, both cameras perform admirably. The Nikon D3100 features an 11-point autofocus system, while the D3200 takes a step further with a 11-point autofocus system with 3D tracking. The 3D tracking feature of the D3200 allows for better subject tracking, making it ideal for capturing fast-moving subjects such as sports or wildlife. However, for general photography needs, the autofocus system of the D3100 is more than sufficient.

Video Recording

If you are interested in shooting videos, both the Nikon D3100 and D3200 offer Full HD 1080p video recording capabilities. However, the D3200 provides a higher frame rate option, allowing you to capture smoother videos. While the D3100 can record videos at 24 frames per second (fps), the D3200 offers the flexibility of recording at 30 fps. This slight difference might not be significant for casual videographers, but it can make a noticeable impact on the overall video quality for those who prioritize video recording.

Display and Controls

Both cameras feature a 3-inch LCD screen, but the Nikon D3200 takes a slight advantage with its higher resolution display. The D3200 offers a 921,000-dot LCD screen, providing a more detailed and vibrant viewing experience compared to the D3100's 230,000-dot LCD screen. Additionally, the D3200 also includes an infrared receiver, allowing you to use a remote control for wireless shutter release, which can be convenient for self-portraits or group shots.

Battery Life

Battery life is an essential consideration, especially for photographers who spend long hours shooting without access to a power source. In this aspect, the Nikon D3100 has a slight advantage over the D3200. The D3100 offers a battery life of approximately 550 shots per charge, while the D3200 provides around 540 shots per charge. While the difference is minimal, it can be a deciding factor for photographers who frequently shoot in remote locations or events where charging opportunities are limited.


Price is often a significant factor when choosing a camera, especially for entry-level photographers. The Nikon D3100 is generally more affordable compared to the D3200. As an older model, the D3100 can often be found at a lower price point, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious individuals. However, it is important to note that the D3200 offers several improvements and additional features, which might justify the higher price for some photographers.


Both the Nikon D3100 and Nikon D3200 are excellent entry-level DSLR cameras that offer impressive image quality, user-friendly features, and affordability. The D3200 stands out with its higher resolution sensor, wider ISO range, and improved video recording capabilities. On the other hand, the D3100 provides a reliable autofocus system, slightly better battery life, and a more budget-friendly price tag. Ultimately, the choice between these two cameras depends on your specific needs, preferences, and budget. Consider the attributes discussed in this article and make an informed decision to find the camera that best suits your photography requirements.

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